The purpose of this policy is to establish consistent meal account procedures for Lynchburg City Schools.
II. General Statement of Policy
1. Full meals will always be provided to students regardless of amount owed. Students with meal charges will not be allowed to charge or purchase a la carte (extra) food items or second meals. Students will never be made to work for their meals to settle any unpaid meal debt. In addition, students will not be labeled with a hand stamp, sticker, wristband, or identified in any other way if they cannot pay for a meal or have unpaid meal debt. Parents/guardians are expected to pay meal charges in a timely manner at all school levels.
2. School staff may not charge food or beverage purchases.
III. National School Lunch Program Meal Eligibility
1. Free and reduced price meals are available to students who are determined eligible based on the following criteria:
- All children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are eligible for free meals.
- Foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or the court are eligible for free meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
- Children may receive free or reduced price meals if their household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
2. Families must file an application annually to determine current eligibility for free or reduced price meals. Families can apply at any time throughout the school year.
3. Eligibility from one school year is carried over for the first thirty (30) school days of the next school year to allow time for families to re-apply.
4. If a new application has not been received and approved by the cut-off date, 30 school days after school begins, eligibility for the program is forfeited and parents/guardians are responsible for meal charges incurred.
1. School nutrition personnel, through the use of the computerized school nutrition accounting system, will allow and record charges and collect monies for payment of meal debt.
2. School nutrition personnel, at the point of service, may remind students with low or negative account balances that they need money to pay for their meals with the statement, “Remember to bring money tomorrow.”
3. Communication regarding meal debt will be directed to parents/guardians and not to students.
4. Parents/guardians will be notified by automated phone call and/or email when their student’s account is in a negative status.
5. A representative from the school nutrition office will contact families when charges exceed $25.00.
6. Once a student’s account reaches a negative balance, no a la carte items will be sold to the student until the account balance is paid in full.
7. No student will be allowed to charge a la carte items.
8. All accounts must be settled at the end of a school year. If a student’s account is not in good standing at the end of the school year, the administration may take one or more of the following actions, unless or until prohibited by state law or regulation:
- Prohibit the student’s participation or other students in the student’s household from participating in any future fee or charge-based program until or unless the negative or delinquent balance is paid in full.
- Refer the account to a collection agency.
- Initiate a claim in the court system.
- Notify other appropriate state agencies.
9. A parent may request from the School Nutrition Office that a block be placed on a student’s account to prohibit the purchase of a la carte items or to set a dollar cap for daily purchases.
10. Requests for refunds of student meal accounts must be submitted in writing to the School Nutrition Office. An email request is also acceptable.
11. A parent/guardian may request a transfer of funds from a student to another sibling by calling the School Nutrition Office.
Approved: June 20, 2017
Revised: December 4, 2018